What People Believe: Matrixism
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There are thousands of religions, cults, and sects all over the world, based on prophets, visions, and ‘experiences’. Some, however, are based on Hollywood films. Like Jediism... or Matrixism. Who? Matrixism was founded in 2003 as an anonymous parody, based on the eponymous 1999 film. However, it now claims to be a serious movement with hundreds of followers, while the website states: "Some would say Matrixism is a religion. We would rather consider it to be a form of spirituality, a way of thinking and looking at the world to achieve a greater form of enlightenment." It is stressed that Matrixists, or Redpills, do not believe we exist in a computer generated simulation. What do they believe? Matrixists believe in four core tenets: Belief in the prophecy of The One (who has reached enlightenment). Recognition of the semi-subjective multi-layered nature of reality. Adherence to the principles of one or more of the world's religions until such time as The One returns. Acceptance of the use of psychedelics as a sacrament. What do they do? It seems that the most active way to be a Matrixist is to open the mind to the world and question reality. The website states: "The best way to practice Matrixism, just as with any other religion, is to do it. "Through our readings and analysis we start to see how one can lead an enlightened path. Once you begin to travel down that path, you will truly be practising Matrixism." Acknowledging the importance placed on free will in The Matrix, the movement is not organised, does not have a leader and encourages followers to make their own way in the world. Weird facts... The symbol of Matrixism is the Japanese hanji symbol for ‘red’, which is a reference to the red pill in The Matrix. Like many followings based on a prophecy, Matrixism is unclear about when exactly ‘The One’ will come. Matrixists observe two Holy Days: ‘Bicycle Day’ on the 19th April, which commemorates Albert Hoffman’s experiment with psychedelics, and the 22nd November, which is the death date of JFK, CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley. ‘Original’ Matrixism prohibits advertising the human image, watching pornography, and participating in professional athletics competitions, while ‘new’ Matrixism takes an explicitly relaxed approach to all of these.
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